One of the hottest acts to come out of Nashville over the past
decade is BR549. These five guys have taken the country by storm
each time they return to our shores. As I write at the end of June,
they are due to play two dates in the U.K., Dingwalls, London and
Notts Americana festival. Their no frills Hillbilly style will even
draw applause from the ghosts of Moon Mullican, Tommy Collins and
Hank Williams, whose music BR549 have given a new lease of life to.
While playing at Nashville's famous Robert's Western World on Lower
Broadway, John Michael Montgomery once offered $25 for every Hank
Williams song Chuck Mead could sing. Montgomery called it a day when
his wallet gave out at $600.
Available on the Gravity label, this 17-track Best
Of BR549 album had its U.K. release in June. The first 6
tracks are taken from their first full album BR5-49, and includes
the most poignant version of Gram Parson's "Hickory
Wind" that I've ever heard. Tracks 7-10 come off the Big
Backyard Beat Show album, with "A House
Of Gold" and "Seven Nights To
Rock" never being released in the U.K. before. "You're
A Hum-Dinger" and "Uneasy
Rider" can be found on the Coast To Coast album, while "18
Wheels & A Crowbar", "Bettie
Plug/Bettie Bettie" and "Me'n'Opie
(Down By The Duck Pond)" are featured on the debut Live
From Roberts E.P. Nine of the 17 songs are written by the band.
Somebody told me recently that when he first saw BR549 on CMT
a few years ago, he thought that they were a band from the 1950's.
When going to see the band playing live in concert he expected to
see five old men on stage. No fear!!! BR549 are a bunch of young
guys who re-create a style of music and fun from a time when country
music was what many of us call proper country!!! BR549 easily and
enthusiastically cut through the smog of what the Nashville
establishment are trying to masquerade as country. The live tracks
re-create the electricity and excitement that these 5 highly
talented young musicians generate in concert. If you haven't seen
these guys playing live, make sure you don't miss them next time
around. BR549 have long been the saviours of country music and this Best
Of album is all that and more. The Best Of Country Music!